Tiger Woods has revealed he will miss The Players Championship at the Players Stadium Course as his absence from the PGA TOUR enters a fourth week.
Woods has not appeared on tour since finishing last of the players to make the cut at the Genesis Invitational, which he hosted at Riviera Country Club.
After finishing with a six-over par round on that final day of the Genesis, Woods revealed he would miss the following week’s WGC-Mexico Championship when he said: “Good news, I hit every ball forward, not backwards, a couple sideways. But overall, I’m done.
“I feel stiff, but I have weeks like that, especially in the cold mornings, like it was the other day. I don’t quite move as well, and that’s just kind of how it’s going to go.”
What was expected to be a one tournament absence will now be at least four events with Woods also missing the Honda Classic, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he had won eight times previously, and now The Players Championship due to ongoing problems with his back.
“It was not an easy decision, but I will not be attending @THEPLAYERSChamp,” Woods wrote on Twitter. “I have to listen to my body and properly rest when needed. My back is simply just not ready for play next week. I’m sad to miss one of the best events of the season, OUR Championship.”
Woods is a two-time winner of The Players Championship having won the event in 2001 and then again in 2013 after a 12-year gap.
The former world number one used The Players Championship, in which he was 30th, as the springboard to winning his 15th major last year at the US Masters, but missing this year’s event will leave question marks over Woods ahead of his defence of the green jacket at Augusta.
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg told ESPN there were no long-term issues, stating: “Back just not ready. Not concerning long term, just not ready.”
Missing The Players Championship leaves Woods with just three tournaments to make his return to the course in prior to the start of the Masters on April 9.
He would be unlikely to play in the Texas Open the week preceding the first major the year, which would leave him with either the Valspar Championship at Copperhead Course next week or the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club from March 25 to make a comeback before Augusta.
Woods has had four operations on his troublesome back, but did surprise the world when returning to the very top with victory in the Masters last year just months after making his return to full-time golf.
Woods ended 2019 with his 82nd PGA TOUR victory in the Zozo Championship, but he has made only three appearances during 2020 to date including that performance at the Genesis Invitational. He had started the year with fourth place in the Hero World Challenge before finishing ninth in the Farmers Insurance Open, but things have stalled somewhat since.